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Chicago Cubs Sweep Pittsburgh Pirates

Tab BamfordSenior Writer ISeptember 10, 2009

PHOENIX - APRIL 29:  Derrek Lee #25 of the Chicago Cubs bats against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the game at Chase Field on April 29, 2009 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Diamondbacks defeated the Cubs 10-0.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The Chicago Cubs swept the Pittsburgh Pirates today, taking all three games in their short series.

I have a simple response to the Cubs after their strong offensive showing in the Steel City: Thanks!

Thanks for bringing out the lumber in a series that's now meaningless. It was impressive to see how well the offense turned around over and over with names like Fold, Scales, Blanco and Hoffpauir in the lineup.

In fact, Micah Hoffpauir now has 10 home runs and 28 runs batted in to show for only 191 at bats in Chicago this year. Milton Bradley, who was brought in to hit left handed in the middle of the lineup, has 12 homers and 39 runs batted in to show for 372 at bats.

But Hoffpauir doesn't cost $5 million this year or $22 million over the next two years, so Hoffpauir spent most of the season in Iowa.

Andres Blanco has 24 hits in only 45 games (99 at bats) to date; Aaron Miles, and his $2.4 million salary, picked up his first hit since August 8 this afternoon. Miles has 27 hits in 150 at bats this year. I'm personally still wondering why he's seen that many appearances.

There has been one move made by manager Lou Piniella that has worked out well. Carlos Marmol remained perfect since being elevated to the closer role for the team with another strong ninth inning.

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The problem is that Kevin Gregg, the spectacled daily implosion for whom the Cubs traded one of their best pitching prospects (Jose Ceda) made an 8-2 lead into a save situation by walking two batters and tossing a three-run homer to, you guessed it, former Cub Ronny Cedeno.

In Gregg's last three appearances, he's now 0-1, having allowed seven runs in just 1.2 innings. His ERA is over 36 for the three games.

Meanwhile, Jeff Stevens and Jeff Samardzija sit in the bullpen and twiddle their thumbs.

A local Chicago sports network's afternoon poll question asked what Cubs fans wanted to see more: kids get their hacks or veterans play so the team can win as much as possible.

My response would have been C) play the kids to have the best chance at winning games.

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